Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) - Enlightenment Ales
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NEhophead:
3.65/5 rDev -10.1%
25.4 fl oz brown bottle served in a chalice.
Batch #1; note alcohol by volume is listed at 6.8%.
Dirty straw in color beneath a carbonation-heavy, foamy, white head that holds for a few moments before thinning to an intact sheet. Condensed lacing with pretty good strength.
A variety of aromas going on here that match the Saison-American IPA hybrid description. Sweet Belgian candy sugar that just slightly outweighs the earthen must and spicy clove character. Wet, oily citrus hops; mild to moderate pine aromas as well.
The initial sweetness is assertive, yet short-lived. Almost immediately, the Saison-like flavors take over: earthen must with somewhat non-descriptive floral hops; mild pepper and coriander. The 'west coast' hop profile is present in its sweet-citrus flavors; however, it feels almost thin compared to the candied sweetness and muddy-earthen 'Saison'-driven flavors.
Medium bodied. Pretty delicate flavors propped up by a smooth, rounded body.
Overall, a pretty creative offering that just doesn't fire on all cylinders. Worth a try from such a small start up, but not a must buy.
10-15-2012 23:55:13 | More by NEhophead
More User Reviews:
4.11/5 rDev +1.2%
This is my first try of up and coming Massachusetts brewery, Enlightenment Ales (now a joint project with Idle Hands of Everett, MA, I hear). I'm excited to try it, as it comes well recommended from the Craft Beer Cellar Newton beer geeks. Let's pour Illumination into a glass and check it out!
Appearance (4.75/5): Golden and hazy, the head is massive (three fingers-plus), tightly bubbled, and snow white. It looks wonderful and it seems the carbonation is on point–I've found that hoppy Belgian pale ales really suffer when they don't have some vigorous carbonation to make their flavors "pop".
Smell (4/5): Grassy, earthy, lighter citric hops and a very noticeable saison yeast aroma. Fresh, clean, herbal, with a bit of interesting yeastiness that plays off the hop aromas nicely.
Taste (4/5): Illumination's taste is definitely hoppier than the aroma, but still on the milder side. It packs plenty of grassy and citric/grapefruit hop flavor, though lacks (appropriately in my opinion) the piney astringence of many straight-up IPAs. Its solid malt base is clean and lightly sweet–it serves to compliment the citric-grassy hop profile and yeastiness. This beer is highly drinkable. The bitterness is really in the mild to moderate sweet-spot, which seems just right for a beer that is supposed to be a Saison/American IPA hybrid.
Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Medium-light body and a nicely spritely feel from the carbonation. It has the dry finish you'd expect from either a Saison or American IPA. The bottle conditioning does wonders for the feel, helping the flavors really pop.
Overall (4.25/5): Enlightenment Ales really has something good in Illumination. The smell, taste, mouthfeel, and appearance are all very good. I especially like how the beer artfully bridges the gap between IPA and Saison, bringing in citrusy American hops in the dry-hopping stage to compliment the restrained maltiness and characterful yeastiness of a traditional saison. What you get is a bold beer that is still refined and complex. This is a hell of a hybrid.
01-23-2014 18:26:31 | More by hagbergl
4.95/5 rDev +21.9%
Serving type: 1 pint champaign style bottle poured into tulip style glass
Appearance: hazy golden color with a thick and lasting white head.
Smell: wonderful grapefruit and citrus aromas all intermingling with the smells of a beautiful saison
Taste: like biting into a fresh juicy grapefruit however unlike most ipa's with similar quality the bitterness is subdued to the beginning if the sip and it finishes with a wonderfully fresh and crisp aftertaste reminiscent of some of the most decadent saisons I have ever had
Mouthfeel: the perfect amount of carbonation balance with a crisp mouthfeel that makes you long for more
Overall: up there with some of the most beautifully crafted ales I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. With the price being under $10 I would happily add this to my weekly rotation. I just hope it remains available!
10-11-2012 23:45:08 | More by Dmuney15
Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) from Enlightenment Ales
90 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.